Why do you blank in public speaking and how to overcome it?
To understand this better let’s try a little experience that has at first glance nothing to do with public speaking. Take 2 pens and place one in each in hand, so you have one pen in the right hand and one in the left. Write you name with both hands on a piece of paper or a white board simultaneously.
Could you do it or did you confuse yourself and stall? For those of you who did it without hiccups you probably did not think too much about it. You didn’t wonder if it could be done but just did it following your intend of simply doing it, also called beginners luck, the unthinking process of taking action.
And those of you who got stuck probably caught yourself thinking about how to do it and then tried to do it consciously, manually, and so tripped yourself by over thinking it rather than letting the normal flow of action guide the process.
This is exactly what happens when you blank in public speaking. You begin to over think it and in the process you get lost in your mind effectively losing connection with your body and your natural flow.
When people draw blanks in public speaking they begin to ‘attach their attention’ to a perceived failure or mistake, or a facial expression form the audience is wildly interpreted in their minds and they attempt the resist or change the past, or influence a future event and so cut their connection to now, the only moment you are alive and able to act, see the problem?
Juggling follows the same principle, focus on catching the ball and you will drop it. Simply let your body do the movement and you are in flow. Riding a bike follows the same principle as well. Once you know what to do with your attention you can stop tripping in your mind yourself and deliver smashing presentations.
And of course this is something we teach in our public speaking classes and courses, from how to govern your body language to delivery styles and audience engagement and much much more. There are so many things you can focus on that you won’t have time to blank.
Try the exercise until you have it packed down and see how it influences your ability to speak in public.